Thailand Military Outline Procurement Shopping List

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Thailand Military Outline Procurement Shopping List
Thailand Military Outline Procurement Shopping List
Thailand is looking to procure more Saab JAS39 Gripen aircraft as part of plans to expand Air Force capabilities over the next decade. Source: Saab/Peter Liander

A diesel-electric submarine and another batch of six Saab JAS 39C/D Gripen combat aircraft are expected to be high on a shopping list of items that the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTAF) wants to purchase by 2024.

An RTAF source confirmed to IHS Jane's recently that the list is being put together by RTAF Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimaprakorn following a request from Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who is also Defence Minister.

The list is being drawn up in response to a requirement to replace a range of ageing RTAF materiel and to maintain the military balance with Thailand's peers in Southeast Asia, all of whom are pressing ahead with plans to modernise their respective military capabilities.
Shopping list

As well as the submarine, other military equipment expected to be on the Royal Thai Navy's (RTN's) shopping list include a multipurpose frigate from South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) - a follow-on order to the frigate ordered from DSME in August 2013; offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), likely to be based on BAE Systems' River-class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), one of which recently entered service with the RTN; and helicopters fitted with anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) outlined a requirement in September for at least six additional Gripen aircraft within the next decade to supplement the 12 in service. The RTAF is also looking to acquire search-and-rescue-capable utility helicopters, which is likely to centre on the purchase of Eurocopter EC725 platforms.

The Royal Thai Army is expected to request more Oplot main battle tanks from Ukraine; more armoured personnel carriers, also likely to be sourced from Ukraine; as well as a range of helicopters - including Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawks, Mil Mi-17V-5s and Eurocopter UH-72A Lakotas - to replace ageing Bell and Sikorsky platforms in service.
Submarine procurement

While most of the equipment to be requested by the RTAF is, to varying degrees, already anticipated by the government, it is the procurement of the submarine that will prove most contentious, given the RTN's previous efforts to acquire such a capability and the government's uncommitted stance on the programme.

However, the RTAF source told IHS Jane's that the purchase of the diesel-electric submarine is now being seriously considered. The main driver behind the purchase is the expected long-term impact of Thailand's significant involvement in the development of the deep-sea Dawei port off the Andaman Sea in Myanmar.

This port is forecast to commence operations in about 10 years and will enable Thailand, through its high investment and involvement in the project, to bypass the Gulf of Thailand in importing and exporting goods to Europe, India and the Middle East. The port is the brainchild of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, (Yingluck's brother) who was ousted in a military coup in 2006.

The RTAF source said that while the RTN's attention is currently drawn to the procurement of the first of two frigates from DSME, under a USD468 million contract signed in August, a team from the RTN has been undergoing a submarine technology training programme, held by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Germany, with a view to a potential future purchase. The RTN, he said, has also invested in a range of submarine simulation and training systems, which are now installed at the RTN's Sattahip Naval Base.

He said: "The Navy's number one priority at the moment is the procurement of the frigate, but on 8 November a team that has been undergoing submarine training in Germany will return to Thailand. Another team is expected to go to South Korea shortly and with the knowledge from these two teams we will find the best solution for the RTN." He added: "This submarine programme will only be for a brand new submarine, we will not buy second-hand."
Bartering plans

With the growth of Thailand's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) slowing due to the country's dependency on exports to weakened economies and a cutback in domestic spending, the trajectory of Thailand's defence budget is forecast to remain relatively flat. According to IHS Jane's Defence Budgets , total defence spending climbed 7% in 2013 to about USD5.8 billion and will remain at around this level for the next few years.

This economic challenge coupled with a perceived requirement in Bangkok to bolster the country's agricultural industry have prompted the Thai government to consider purchasing the RTAF's list of required materiel through barter-trade. Underscoring this effort, Yingluck is reported to have sought support from RTAF leaders to purchase the military acquisition requirements through exchanges of "rubber, rice and chicken". Such barter trade deals will help Thai farmers, she said.

RTAF spokesman Group Captain Prapas Sonjaidee also confirmed to IHS Jane's in September that the service was looking at the possibility of acquiring additional Gripen aircraft through the exchange of chickens or other agricultural produce. "This is a possibility depending on the government's policy," he said. "We don't have a plan at the moment but a barter trade arrangement could be organised in the future."
Grippen dan Eriyeemoticon-Matabelo
jadi pengen tahu kemarin hasil SAAB yg dtg kekita. ditawarin apaan aja ya? berharap dpt datalink antar matra.
Gak terlalu ambisius, gak kek negara kepulauan di Selatan emoticon-Malu (S)
River class, HTMS Krabi patty kah? emoticon-Malu (S)

Amat ambisius tender terus menerus tapi kerenya pun teramat serius.emoticon-Big Grin

Indonesia atau Pinoy? emoticon-Embarrassment

NKRI masih mending lah.Tendernya jalan kontraknya pun jalan,walaupun uprit demi uprit dan beberapa agak gaje(kecuali AD baru2 ini).Lha kalau Phillipines?Ambisius plus gengsi minta ampun.emoticon-Big Grin
Thailand ini mesti di contoh,gak gembar gembor gember geblak,gak sesumbar jg terjaguh seantaro asean,gak ada mef mef'an ....diam2 menghanyutkan...brak langsung ada barang...

Raja-nya suka mainan... tinggal raja bertitah... mainan dateng... emoticon-Kiss